Louisiana, 1941

by Taylor Alyson Lewis
I’m too young to know how my soul will fly.
Maurice once a language we trilled with
Our tongues, my parents’ slurring speech sighs
To me, across oceans, across my bits
Of memory—Louisiana is
Both my mother and my father, lover
And friend. Our black hands are our lowest sins.
We are prisoners to the soil of debtors.
One day my hands will grow things my children
Eat and own, we will buy clothes cottonmade.
No child of mine will wear small fingers thin
And scraped with flesh, will dream of their escape
From rows of cash crops, eyes crusted with dirt.
God molded Maurice as my rebirth.